13 Causes of Action in Eisenstecken et al. v Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Verizon et al.




(full petition here)

Attorneys for Plaintiffs

  • Gregg R. Lien, 530-583-8500, lakelaw@sierratahoe.net
  • Mark S. Pollock, 707-257-3089, mpollock@pollockandjames.com

Parties to the Law Suit



  • Defendents:TAHOE REGIONAL PLANNING AGENCY, JOANNE MARCHETTA, in her official and individual capacities, MARSHA BERKBIGLER, in her official and individual capacities, SUE NOVASEL, in her official and representative capacities, GUILLIAM NEL, TAHOE PROSPERITY CENTER, INC., SACRAMENTO-VALLEY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP dba VERIZON WIRELESS, and DOES 1-100.

From the opening of the petition:

This action arises under the Compact Clause of the United States Constitution, Article 1, section 10, clause 3; and the Tahoe Regional Planning (“TRPA”) Compact, Public Law No. 96- 551, 94 Statute 3233 (1980), Cal. Gov. Code §66801, Nev. Rev. Stat. 277.200 (copy of Compact attached as Exhibit A). Jurisdiction of this Court is conferred by 28 U.S.C. §1331 (federal question), 28 U.S.C. §1367(a) (pendent jurisdiction over state claims), and Article VI(j) of the Compact. Declaratory relief is available pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2201-02 and Rule 57 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure . . .

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is an Interstate Compact established by a special act of Congress in 1980 involving the states of California and Nevada, in close and continuing collaboration with various agencies of the federal government “to ensure an equilibrium between the region’s natural environment and its man-made environment.”

Plaintiffs contend that the piecemeal approval and implementation of the TRPA’s wireless infrastructure program flagrantly violates the terms of the Compact itself, TRPA’s own Regional Plan, and several relevant federal and state laws, prominently the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), among many others. The fact that a number of TRPA Governing Board members named in this lawsuit are under a clear conflict of interest as defined in the Compact makes the review of their decisions even more urgent . . .

13 Causes of Action

  1. TRPA’s policies and regulations that authorize and explicitly permit wireless companies to destroy the Tahoe Region by piecemeal, unplanned cell tower installations with no analysis of cumulative effects is a violation of its Public Trust.

  2. TRPA is a federal and state regulatory agency governed under an Interstate Compact established, approved, and partially funded by Congress. As such TRPA must comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Air and Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and other federal statutes. The TRPA’s piecemeal blanket licenses for cell towers throughout the Tahoe Region is a major federal action.

  3. TRPA’s failure to make required findings to protect thresholds violates the terms of the Compact.

  4. TRPA’s piecemeal policies and practices violate the Compact and its own Regional Plan, implementing regulations, and well-established California, Nevada, and federal land use planning laws requiring that TRPA’s resulting actions be coherent, integral and consistent with the Regional Plan.

  5. TRPA’s failure to assess, plan, and implement policies, plans, and programs to address adverse environmental impact of RFR contamination, and further the unique and unaddressed fire hazards presented by proliferated cell tower installations, violates its own regulations.

  6. TRPA is failing to assess immediately available, safe, secure, environmentally protective, energy efficient, and cost-effective alternatives to a massive wireless infrastructure in the Tahoe Region. This failure to identify and to explore viable and practical alternatives, and to include its findings in the Regional Plan, violates TRPA’s obligations under NEPA, CEQA, and its own Regional Plan.

  7. The actions of officers and directors of TRPA and Defendant Tahoe Prosperity Center reflect undisclosed conflicts of interest, violate California’s open meeting laws, and must be voided and remanded for reconsideration.

  8. TRPA’s failure to develop a coherent policy and program to protect persons with recognized disabilities, and TRPA’s flagrant disrespect and disregard for persons suffering from disabilities, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) of 1989, (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.) and other federal and state laws requiring reasonable accommodation.

  9. TRPA’s arbitrary and capricious dismissal of Plaintiff Monica Eisenstecken’s request for reasonable accommodation to halt the construction of a dangerous Verizon cell tower and antennas 150 feet from her residence is a specific instance of the continuous violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1989, as identified in the EIGHTH CAUSE OF ACTION.

  10. Defendants TRPA, Nel, and Verizon’s refusal to extend a reasonable accommodation and the installation of a dangerous cell tower 150 feet from her property will result in a Public Nuisance, a tortious act under California and Nevada law.

  11. Defendant TRPA, Nel and Verizon’s installation of a dangerous cell tower 150 feet from Plaintiff’s property will result in a Private Nuisance, a tortious act under California law.

  12. Defendant Nel’s and Verizon’s imminent installation of a RFR emitting cell tower against Plaintiff’s Eisenstecken’s explicit written opposition and against the precautionary written warning of her physicians constitutes the tort of Assault under the California Civil Code.

  13. Defendants Nel’s and Verizon’s imminent placement of a dangerous cell tower and antennas 150 feet from Plaintiff’s home will cause a Trespass to Property.